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The Days are Long, but the Years are Short

Life at The Castle

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Kay’s thoughts

A Fleeting Summer

Our summer break is nearly at an end.  Since our family breaks from May – July and begins school the first week of August, the boys and I have only 2.5 weeks left before we launch our next school year.  I have been busy making preparations, some as simple as finishing a slipcover for the schoolroom chair and others as complex as determining curriculums.

Explorers

This morning, in an effort to wrap my mind around the big picture of years, Classical Conversations cycles, and ages (of the boys), I sat down and composed a chart that laid out the details of each year from now until Jack graduates from high school.  Once finished I looked carefully at the chart and fought back tears, praying that the Lord would deal graciously with my sons and cause them to grow in wisdom over these next years.  2028 seems a long way off to me now, but as the fleeting summer reminds me, time no longer creeps by as it seemed to when I was a child.  May the Lord bless these years and use them for the good of our family and for His glory!

A Great Cloud of Witnesses

I’m reading Keep a Quiet Heart by Elizabeth Elliot.  (I highly recommend it.)  Today I read a quick chapter about the communion of the saints and the idea that the saints of old (both the famous and obscure) are cheering us on as we work for the Lord.  Not only that, but we are cheering one another on, “spurring one another on towards love and good works.”  It’s encouraging and invigorating to think that it honestly does matter that I taught geography today, scrubbed the kitchen floor, prayed for my sisters in Christ (not to omit brothers, but the sisters have been on my mind today!).  It doesn’t matter because it’s a great act of service; honestly it’s mostly mundane and hidden from human eyes, certainly not worthy of praise.  BUT it does matter because those things were done in obedience as an act of laying down my life.  So if you are weary today, feeling that the small obediences that make up your days are worthless, be strengthened by God’s word.  He sees.  It matters to Him.  Your brothers and sisters throughout all of church history are cheering you on to finish your race well.  It really does matter.

A blessed childhood

Christmas always brings up my best memories of my childhood.  My childhood wasn’t perfect by any means, but as far as I can remember, my Christmases were.  Both sides of my family were fabulous at Christmas.  Reading the Christmas story.  Playing with my siblings and cousins.  Singing Christmas carols together as Daddy and Papa played their guitars, typically in at least three part harmony.  My Uncle Charles playing Santa Claus.  Carols around the piano at Mema’s house.  Oh, I could go on forever about how magical it all seemed to me.  Mr. Thompson said that I had a TV family after he attended his first Christmas with us.  He was wrong, but I understood the sentiment.

Recently I’ve read a few articles about how it’s okay to admit that your Christmas isn’t a TV family Christmas.  And I agree.  If it’s not.  Mine isn’t there as much as I wish it were.  BUT Moms, Dads, let’s not give up on it either.  In whatever ways your family celebrates Christmas, give it all you’ve got because the miracle of Christ’s birth is worth celebrating.  The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory.  It’s worth all of the scripture reading and Advent-candle lighting and singing and feasting we can do.  And if the Lord blesses it, it may become part of a beautiful childhood memory that will resonant in our children’s souls for the rest of their lives.

Reading list update

These last two months are the reason that I only chose a few books for my list.  Inevitably I buy something for free or dirt cheap on my Kindle, and it’s almost always an old friend that I haven’t read in a year or more.  SO I just read, read, read but none of the books are on my list!  I read 16 books in March and April and only one was on the list!!  Oh well.  Ironically this is also the reason that I have the list in the first place – so that I will be more intentional about using my reading to grow.  That being said, I promise to try to buckle down in May and read at least one book off of the actual reading list 🙂

  1. Tell Your Time by Amy Lynn Andrews
  2. 5 Conversations You Must Have with Your Son by Vicki Courtney
  3. 7 by Jen Hatmaker
  4. Kisses from Katie by Katie Davis and Beth Clark
  5. Choosing Gratitude by Nancy Leigh DeMoss
  6. Love Does by Bob Goff
  7. Let the Nations Be Glad: Missions and the Supremacy of God by John Piper
  8. Culture Shift: The Battle for the Moral Heart of America by Al Mohler
  9. Keep a Quiet Heart by Elisabeth Elliot
  10. Not yet chosen: I want to read a brief history of the world type of book before we start homeschooling in the fall.  I find that my personal education is quite muddled in this area and would like to take steps to correct that before I’m trying to teach my sons.  Suggestions?
  11. Building Her House by Nancy Wilson
  12. The Roots of Endurance: Invincible Perseverance in the Lives of John Newton, Charles Simeon, and William Wilberforce by John Piper
  13. Why Isn’t a Pretty Girl Like You Married?  ….and Other Useful Comments by Nancy Wilson

And here’s my extras list:

  1. Arms of Deliverance by Tricia Goyer
  2. Dawn of a Thousand Nights by Tricia Goyer
  3. The Duties of Parents  by J.C. Ryle
  4. Plenty: 31 Sips of Joy for Moms Everywhere by Kari Patterson
  5. Killing Lincoln  by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard
  6. How to Save Money at Home: A Room-by-Room Guide to Cut Spending by Kim Parsell
  7. Rainbow Valley by Lucy Maud  Montgomery
  8. Rilla of Ingleside by Lucy Maud  Montgomery
  9. Chronicles of Avonlea by Lucy Maud  Montgomery
  10. Further Chronicles of Avonlea by Lucy Maud  Montgomery
  11. The Story Girl by Lucy Maud  Montgomery
  12. The Golden Road by Lucy Maud  Montgomery
  13. Kilmeny of the Orchard by Lucy Maud  Montgomery
  14. The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas Stanley and William Danko
  15. Little Women by Louisa Alcott
  16. Good Wives by Louisa Alcott
  17. Little Men by Louisa Alcott
  18. Jo’s Boys by Louisa Alcott
  19. Emily of New Moon by Lucy Maud  Montgomery
  20. Emily Climbs  by Lucy Maud  Montgomery
  21. Emily’s Quest by Lucy Maud  Montgomery

It was lovely, but…

Last night something happened for the first time.  Mr. Thompson loaded up Daniel, Jack, and a truck-load full of stuff that I’d packed and drove away without me.  They were going on a men and boys’ camp-out with our church.  It is the first time e.v.e.r. since Daniel has been born that all three guys went somewhere and I stayed home.

I finished the housework at about 7 pm, and it stayed finished.  It was lovely, but I missed the antics of my little guys playing with their daddy.

I went right to work on my chosen project (the schoolroom) without any interruptions to get pajamas on and brush time and pick up the toys for the last time that day, but I didn’t hear the sweet little “thank yous” that they offer to the Lord each night.

I slept without interruption (except my own coughing), but no one slid into the bed beside me at 6:30 to cuddle and fall back asleep.

I made breakfast in record time, but no one exclaimed, “HOORAY!  Muffins cooked in the oven!!”  (That’s how Danny expresses the concept of fresh from the oven.)

I ate my muffin and drank my coffee listening to the songs of the birds, but I missed a certain spunky laughter that I normally hear at that meal.

I ran a few errands, but was thinking about when they’d be home.

I am so thankful for a quiet 16 hours or so, and it was lovely.  But it was a fresh reminder of how much of a blessing I have in my dear husband and my rambunctious boys.  I am refreshed and ready to once again enter into my callings with joy and gratitude.

Just to be clear (and so you don’t think I’m a complete loser) if I wasn’t still nursing a cold, I would have spent much of my time hanging out with my friends who also found themselves wonderfully freed-up (there are several families in our church with only boy kiddos).  Alas, it was not to be.

I am expecting them to drive up any minute now so I’m going to do the last few things on my list.  They won’t stay done long once the boys get home, but I don’t think I’ll mind.

February Book Update

  1. Tell Your Time by Amy Lynn Andrews
  2. 5 Conversations You Must Have with Your Son by Vicki Courtney
  3. 7 by Jen Hatmaker
  4. Kisses from Katie by Katie Davis and Beth Clark
  5. Choosing Gratitude by Nancy Leigh DeMoss
  6. Love Does by Bob Goff
  7. Let the Nations Be Glad: Missions and the Supremacy of God by John Piper (I’m so close to having this one finished!)
  8. Culture Shift: The Battle for the Moral Heart of America by Al Mohler
  9. Keep a Quiet Heart by Elisabeth Elliot
  10. Not yet chosen: I want to read a brief history of the world type of book before we start homeschooling in the fall.  I find that my personal education is quite muddled in this area and would like to take steps to correct that before I’m trying to teach my sons.  Suggestions?
  11. Building Her House by Nancy Wilson
  12. The Roots of Endurance: Invincible Perseverance in the Lives of John Newton, Charles Simeon, and William Wilberforce by John Piper
  13. Why Isn’t a Pretty Girl Like You Married?  ….and Other Useful Comments by Nancy Wilson

And here’s my extras list:

  1. Arms of Deliverance by Tricia Goyer
  2. Dawn of a Thousand Nights by Tricia Goyer
  3. The Duties of Parents  by J.C. Ryle
  4. Plenty: 31 Sips of Joy for Moms Everywhere by Kari Patterson
  5. Killing Lincoln  by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard
  6. How to Save Money at Home: A Room-by-Room Guide to Cut Spending by Kim Parsell (This was good and had a few ideas that I wasn’t already doing, but not many.  If you’re new to being seriously frugal, it will be quite helpful.)

Free shipping + 15% off

This is not a deal alert, but if you’re interested, Children’s Place is running this deal through today.  This is a post about contentment.  Sorry for the disappointment.

Even though my boys have more clothes than they wear (mostly because if one of the three favorite shirts is clean, they are certainly not going to choose anything else), these types of subject lines always call my contentment into question.  Doesn’t Jack need another pair of blue jeans?  Wouldn’t Daniel love a new superhero shirt?  Shouldn’t I buy something new and cute (er…I mean handsome) for Easter?  Isn’t there anything they’d like to have?  You know…since it’ll be a good deal.

Oh, how weak I am to still be seeing value in these things.  If we weren’t already going shopping for it, then we obviously don’t need it.  Now if they sold men’s blue jeans, we’d be there because new jeans for Mr. Thompson are on the list for sometime this week whether I find a great deal or not, but Jack-he’s fine.  It seems that the Holy Spirit is still doing quite a bit of purging in my heart about which things are needed, which things are best and wisest.  {sigh}  Come quickly, Lord Jesus; this battle with sin cannot be over too soon.

The Greatest Show on Earth

Mr. Thompson and I have been keeping a secret for about a month.  In January we purchased tickets to the circus for Feb. 7 and have been whispering about it ever since.  If you have or have ever had small children, you will understand why we waited to tell the happy news.  Selfishly, I didn’t want to lose my mind by telling them every day, several times a day that today wasn’t the day.  We had a plan in place.

Yesterday when Mr. Thompson came home for lunch, he broke the happy news.  “Tonight we’re going to the circus!”  The response was evidence that they didn’t know what we were talking about because Daniel smiled a little and asked, “Is it a restaurant?”  (Okay so our kids think that eating out is the pinnacle of excitement.)  Mr. Thompson was on top of it; he found a promotional video online and the boys stared with mesmerized eyes.  After good, long naps we picked Daddy up from work and headed to the circus.  IMG_3829 IMG_3834 IMG_3846 IMG_3849 IMG_3852 IMG_3862 IMG_3864 IMG_3870 IMG_3886 IMG_3889 IMG_3890

Our seats were incredible – 6th row!  I recognized the performers when they changed clothes for crying out loud!  Daniel stared intently at everything, not smiling or cheering but taking it all in.  Jack laughed and smiled and clapped and was generally delighted.

Jack “cried” whenever the animals went in the back.  Evidently people performing death-defying acts aren’t nearly as cool as elephants standing on their hind legs or tigers jumping over each other 🙂  When we left, I asked Jack what his favorite part of the circus was, and he said, “the animals.”  Favorite animal…the horses, of which I got zero pictures.  Daniel’s favorite part was the dragon, and he was trying so hard to reconcile the fact that dragons aren’t real with the fact that he’d just seen a very convincing one 🙂  Jack asked me this morning if we could go back to the circus tonight so I guess it was a hit!

January Reading Update

  1. Tell Your Time by Amy Lynn Andrews
  2. 5 Conversations You Must Have with Your Son by Vicki Courtney
  3. 7 by Jen Hatmaker
  4. Kisses from Katie by Katie Davis and Beth Clark
  5. Choosing Gratitude by Nancy Leigh DeMoss
  6. Love Does by Bob Goff
  7. Let the Nations Be Glad: Missions and the Supremacy of God by John Piper
  8. Culture Shift: The Battle for the Moral Heart of America by Al Mohler
  9. Keep a Quiet Heart by Elisabeth Elliot
  10. Not yet chosen: I want to read a brief history of the world type of book before we start homeschooling in the fall.  I find that my personal education is quite muddled in this area and would like to take steps to correct that before I’m trying to teach my sons.  Suggestions?
  11. Building Her House by Nancy Wilson
  12. The Roots of Endurance: Invincible Perseverance in the Lives of John Newton, Charles Simeon, and William Wilberforce by John Piper
  13. Why Isn’t a Pretty Girl Like You Married?  ….and Other Useful Comments by Nancy Wilson

And here’s my extras list:

  1. Arms of Deliverance by Tricia Goyer
  2. Dawn of a Thousand Nights by Tricia Goyer
  3. The Duties of Parents  by J.C. Ryle
  4. Plenty: 31 Sips of Joy for Moms Everywhere by Kari Patterson

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